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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

APA Signs Onto Amicus Brief Supporting Confidentiality

Aaron Levin
Psychiatric News
Originally published August 11, 2016

APA has signed on to an amicus curiae brief with the California Psychiatric Association and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists in a case before the California Supreme Court with important implications for patient confidentiality and clinicians’ liability.

APA is concerned that a ruling in favor of the plaintiff would change the existing California standard (the so-called Tarasoff rule) requiring action when “a patient has communicated to the psychotherapist a serious threat of physical violence against a reasonably identifiable victim or victims.”

The case, Rosen v. Regents of the UCLA, arose when Damon Thompson, a student treated by UCLA’s counseling service, attacked and stabbed a fellow student, Katherine Rosen.

Under California law, a therapist has a “duty to protect” a potential victim if the patient makes a reasonably identifiable threat to harm a specific person.

The entire article is here.